Domestic abuse is not always what most of us may think it is. Sure, it can be black eyes and visible bruises, but not always. Domestic violence almost never starts out as physical abuse. The emotional, financial, and psychological abuse may be invisible to the naked eye, but these forms of abuse are just as real to victims as physical scars, bruises or broken bones.
Michele was a strong, independent woman. She was the breadwinner in her family. She paid the bills, nurtured her three kids and lovingly cared for her husband, who suffered from chronic depression that developed into a more serious and complex psychological issue. Rather than she being dependent on him, he depended on her for everything.
Michele was a highly respected and a much-loved first grade teacher. An active member of her church community, a great friend and support to many and, of course, a wonderful daughter, sister, aunt and niece. She always wore a smile. Her cheerful, upbeat exterior hid the scars of verbal abuse and the stress of dealing with her husband’s neediness and lack of support.
He never hit her but there were other signs – the yelling, breaking things. He never hurt her physically until he used his shotgun to kill her and then himself.
Michele was the daughter of Peter Miragliotta, who is Center for Hope and Safety’s Board President. Pete and his wife, Jackie, keep Michele’s memory alive by helping victims of domestic abuse find safety and a path to healing. They are wonderful ambassadors for our organization, and we are grateful for their support in spreading the word about Center for Hope and Safety